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Road rehabilitation: Contractors urbe FG to sustain aSukuk fund

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Contractors handling the rehabilitation of the two sections of the EnuguPort Harcourt Expressway have called on the Federal Government to sustain the Sukuk fund in order to ensure steady funding and timely completion of the project.

They made the call on Monday, when a delegation from the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) for the South East, led by a staff of the commission, Mr Alex Elikwu, visited the site “to verify the level of budgetary performance of the project.”

Elikwu said that the verification involved Sections I covering 59.2km (Lokpanta-Umuahia) and Section II, covering 59.1km (Umuahia-Aba), costing about N30 billion and N50 billion, respectively.

Mr Ali Omar, the Project Manager of Arab Contractors Nigeria Ltd., handling the Section II of the project, said that about 42 km of the 59.1 km road had been asphalted.

He said that the project would be ready in the next one-and-a half years, adding that the company had applied for a one-year extention to enable them to cover up for the lost time caused by the rain.

Omar, who was accompanied by the Supervising Consultant, Mr Edmond Ezi, expressed the hope that the tempo of work would increase now that the rain had subsided.

He attributed the success so far recorded on the project to the regular release of funds through Sukuk, adding that with Sukuk, funding had never been an issue for them.

He, therefore, urged the federal government to continue to leverage Sukuk in order to ensure that the project did not suffer unnecessary delay due to poor funding, often associated with inadequate budgetary allocations and releases.

Also, the Area Manager of Setraco Nigeria Ltd., handling the Section I of the project, Mr Fouad Ghazal, said that 62 per cent of the road had been asphalted.

Ghazal promised that the job would be completed and delivered by March 2021, “if the N800 million outstanding is released.”

Nigeria News Agency reports that the FRC delegation also inspected the ongoing N940 million gully erosion control sub-contract at Nsukwe on the Umuahia end of the expressway.

The team further inspected the ongoing construction of a trailer park at the Lokpanta Cattle Market in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia.

The leader of the delegation told NAN that the team was in the South-East to verify the federal government’s projects, which were captured in the 2018/2019 Appropriation.

He said that he was impressed with the quality and extent of job so far executed on the two sections of the dual carriageway.

He expressed the confidence that the project could be completed in record time with regular and sustained funding.

He said: “I hope that with what is on ground at the moment, the contractors are doing a quality job.

“I also believe that they will complete the project as promised, if the Sukuk is sustained as they have requested.”

Elikwu also advised the contractors to carryout palliatives on some of the failed portions of the expressway because of the envisaged heavy traffic during the Christmas festivities.

He said that such a measure would help to alleviate the plight of motorists by making the dilapidated portions passable.

(Edited & Vetted By: Sam Oditah)
(NAN)

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Train your children to be leaders of development, Mrs Oyetola’s urges parents

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Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, Wife of Osun Governor, has called on parents to

train their children to be leaders of positive development in the society.

Speaking at the End-of-Year Children’s Party she organised on Thursday in Osogbo, the Osun First Lady appealed to parents to always make the issue of care and training of their children topmost priority.

She urged parents to rekindle in their children the mindset of greatness, discipline and dedication which would help them to contribute to the development of the society.

We should train our children to grow up to be great leaders in all aspects of societal development.

We should train them to be leaders of positive development and changes that will propel the greatness of our race.

We have all the necessary resources, which God has thankfully given us, to make them great, “Oyetola said.

The governor’s wife also urged mothers to engage in exclusive breast feeding of their newborns, adding that exclusive breastfeeding guarantees good living and protects children from various diseases and problems

Mrs Oyetola also warned against open defecation in the state, saying such act constituted major risks to to the well- being of the people.

She said she organised the party to enable the children to interact with political leaders, thereby creating a sense of desire in them to grow and help society and the state to develop.

Oyetola said the state government would continue to pay the right attention to issues concerning the development of children in the state.

In her remarks, Mrs Olubukola Olaboopo, Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, commended the governor’s wife for organising the party.

Olaboopo urged parents to inculcate right moral values in their children for them to attain greatness in life.

Edited by: Buhari Bolaji/Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)
(NAN)

 

 

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Ebonyi communities appeal to government to upgrade amenities

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The Ndiebor Ezza-Iyimagu, Ndieze and Mgbalaku autonomous communities in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi have decried the dearth of basic amenities in their areas and appeal for immediate intervention.

Members of the communities who spoke to the Nigeria News Agency correspondent who visited the communities, said that the situation has brought untold hardship to them, adding that they had lived in such condition for long.

Mr Ogbonna Uguru, an indigene of Mkpumekwoku in Ezza-Inyimagu, said that the community of 23 villages lacks potable water, access roads and electricity.

The entire village has one community secondary school, while the only facility that can be taken as a hospital in the area was not functioning optimally.

It is saddening that in spite of our active participation in politics with accompanying elections, all those we voted into power at all levels of government have neglected us,” he said.

Uguru said that the problem of roads which had made life unbearable for the people,predominantly farmers has caused several fatalities.

The roads linking the villages are so impassable that the people find it difficult to access Ezza-Inyimagu General Hospital in Mkpumekwoku village.

This has led to the death of several people who toiled to seek  medical attention from the facility at Mkpumeokwu,” he said.

He said that the situation has caused serious health challenges to children, expectant and nursing mothers  as the last time an immunisation  was held in the area was in 1992.

The situation led to the abandonment of a dry season rice production scheme at Ndibulegu Ominyi village funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Public schools in the area were built with mud, while pupils and students sit on wood or bare floor to study, “ he said.

A farmer and octogenarian, Mr Nwaoga Omeru, said that the situation made it difficult for farmers to convey their goods to markets.

Omeru, an indigene  of Ndiacha village lamented that roads linking the communities with other parts of the territory were in deplorable state too.

We are calling on the authorities to come to our aid with developmental projects to ease difficulties in the areas as we have been cut off from access to electricity for long .

Another resident and a farmer in Ndiachi village, Mrs Theresa Nwiboko, said that residents of the communities depend on water from rain and pond for survival.

We plead that the relevant authorities assist the communities with amenities and construct good roads to enable us access adequate health care and convey our produce to markets.

A community member who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that St.Paul Hospital which is the only private hospital in the area lacked adequate equipment and personnel.

I urge stakeholders of the areas to show more commitment in the quest for the provision of amenities such as electricity because energy is critical for economic growth and sustainable development.

Lack of functional health facilities in the area has led to increasing infant and maternal mortality.

Chief Samuel Okoronkwo, Ebonyi Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters and Rural Development when approached by NAN, declined comments, stating that he would only respond after the council chairman’s comments on the development.

Mr Paul Nwogha, the Council Chairman while reacting to the complaints from the communities, said that roads are not constructed during rainy season.

My administration had procured two boreholes for Ndiachi community, constructed ‘lock-up’ shops in the market while transformers would soon be provided to the communities.

“Roads at the communities were graded, but were destroyed by the activities of some mining companies,” he claimed.

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Kwara South youths to hold conference on growth, devt.

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A group, Kwara South Youth Development Organisation, says its maiden conference next Thursday in Omu-Aran would accelerate the growth and socio-economic development of the state.

Titilope Akogun, Conference Convener, told the Nigeria News Agency that the forum would feature experts in Information Communication Technology (ICT), Agribusiness, health, entrepreneurship and Digital Media.

NAN reports that the conference has as its theme: “Kwara South Today, Building a Better Tommorow”.

Fifty participants are selected from each of seven council’s in Kwara South District – Ekiti, Oke-Ero, Isin, Irepodun, Ifelodun, Oyun and Offa.

The conference will be a veritable platform for youth from various towns and villages to interract and strategies for the growth, progress and socio-economic development of the district,” he said.

Akogun said the conference would be declared open by the Kwara State Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, while senator representing Kwara South Senatorial District, Sen. Lola Ashiru, would be keynote speaker.

He listed the topics for discussion to include Embracing Entrepreneurship, ICT and Agribusiness and Empowerment for Wealth Creation and Growth.

Others are Public Health, Drug Abuse and Community Development as they affect Kwara South Investment in Community Development through Health, Human Capital Development as well as Digital Media and Youth Participation in Politics and Governance.

Some resource persons for the conference are

Dr Abdulsalam Olabisi, Chief Medical Director, Offa General Hospital, Dr Rafiu Ajiboye, Gynaecologist and Community Practitioner, Dr Seyi Adigun, Lead Director, Lazforte Medicals, Prof. Wale Suleiman, Special Assistant on Health to the Governor of Kwara State.

Others are Mr Raheem Olawuyi, Member, House of Representatives, Chief Raheem Adedoyin, Secretary, IPI, Yinka Dallas, Youth Leader and Activist, Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Olukoju, Dr Abdulwaheed Musa, Senior Lecturer, Kwara State University, Malete and Editor, Kwara at 50.

Edited by: Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)
(NAN)

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Akwa Ibom Govt to assist injured victims of road rash – Gov Emmanuel

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Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has directed the Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, to assist the 18 persons injured in the road accident which claimed four lives on Wednesday.

The victims are currently receiving treatment at the Ibom Specialist Hospital.
 
Emmanuel gave the directive on Thursday, when he paid a sympathy visit to the injured persons at the facility.
 
seater bus conveying some staff of the Pioneer Newspapers Corporation, while returning from a social engagement, veered off the road along the Uyo-Oron route, Uyo, and summersaulted several  times.
 
The accident claimed four lives, and left 18 others critically injured. The bus had been overloaded with 22 passengers.
 
The governor, who was conducted round the wards by the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Emmanuel Ekanem, described the incident as “shocking”.

“I received with shock the news of the auto crash involving staffers of the Pioneer Newspapers. We sympathise with the families of those who lost their loved ones and those critically injured.
 
“I have directed the Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, to assist those involved in the unfortunate accident,” Emmanuel said.

He prayed God for the quick recovery of the injured, and commiserated with relations of those who lost their loved ones.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom Council, Mr Amos Etuk, has described as sad and painful, the road crash which claimed the lives of some staff of the Pioneer Newspapers Corporation. 

He commended the governor and other state functionaries for the quick response to the situation which, he said, helped in saving many lives of the victims. 

The NUJ Chairman appealed to members of the union and other road users to be cautious while using the roads, urging them to obey traffic rules and regulations, especially in the yuletide period.

Dignatries on the governor’s entourage included the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, the Head of Service, Mr Effiong Essien, among others.
 

Edited by: Ephraims Sheyin
(NAN)
(NAN)

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COREN to re-submit application to internationalise its engineering qualifications

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The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) says it will re-submit application to the International Engineering Alliance (IEA) in February 2020 for the purpose of internationalising its engineering qualifications.

President of the Council, Mr Ali Rabiu said at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday that the move was also crucial in positioning Nigeria as a provisional signatory to the Washington Accord.

Rabiu expressed dismay that the council’s application was turned down at the international Engineering Alliance meeting held in Hong Kong from June 9 to June 14, 2019.

According to him, the council is in the process internalising its engineering qualification to enhance mobility of Nigerian engineering practitioners.

 Rabiu said, “the council’s application was turned down at the international engineering meeting in Hong Kong because the IEA had concerns with the level of autonomy as a government agency and COREN’s accreditation system.

“The council is therefore required to re-submit its application to the IEA, hence a Washington Accord Application was inaugurated on Nov. 5 to further process COREN’s application for provisional signatory status to Washington Accord,’’ Rabiu said.

He said that the committee has six weeks to complete its task and submit a report back to the council.

While expressing optimism that the application would be successful this time, Rabiu said that it would be reviewed at the IEA meeting scheduled to hold in South Africa from June 21 to June 26, 2020.

Edited by: Felix Ajide
(NAN)
(NAN)

 

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